Saudi Arabia has begun exploring the country's uranium deposits within a program of developing alternative sources of energy, the Saudi al-Okaz newspaper reported Sunday, citing the head of the kingdom's geological administration, Zahir Nawab.
"King Abdullah University of Science and Technology together with Chinese scientists have begun the exploration and the valuation of uranium and thorium deposits in the country's northern region of Ha'il," the official said.
According to the official, the project is being carried out at the order of Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia Mohammad bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, involving China's National Nuclear Corporation within an agreement signed earlier this March during the Saudi king's visit to the country.
The kingdom won't use the resources to fulfill its military aims, the official added.
The report comes after the Crown Prince announced back in 2015 a plan for the country's economic development until 2030, stipulating the cessation of oil dependence.